Air pollution caused by fossil fuels kills millions

February 10, 2021 by  
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New research has revealed that fossil fuel pollution caused approximately 8.7 million deaths in 2018. The study, published in the journal Environmental Research , was a collaboration by scientists at Harvard University, the University of Leicester, the University of Birmingham and University College London. Experts found that countries that burn fossil fuels heavily for manufacturing and transport are the most affected. Countries such as the U.S. and many developed countries in Europe recorded 1 of every 10 deaths due to air pollution. The total was also higher than global deaths caused by tobacco and malaria combined. “We were initially very hesitant when we obtained the results because they are astounding, but we are discovering more and more about the impact of this pollution,” said Eloise Marais, study author and geographer at University College London. “It’s pervasive. The more we look for impacts, the more we find.” Related: Air pollution could increase risk of irreversible blindness The researchers have also established that the rate of deaths due to pollution is significantly lower in Africa and South America. They found that there are direct links between air pollution from burning fossil fuels and ailments such as heart disease, loss of eyesight and respiratory ailments.  According to Karn Vohra, a graduate student at the University of Birmingham and one of the researchers, the focus was on discovering the impact of pollution on specific populations. They looked at specific regions and used 3D modeling of pollution data to get more precise results. “Rather than rely on averages spread across large regions, we wanted to map where the pollution is and where people live, so we could know more exactly what people are breathing,” Vohra explained. This is not the first study to link loss of life or disease with air pollution. According to a recent academic  publication , the average global life expectancy would increase by more than a year without fossil fuels . A 2019 study by Lancet estimated that 4.2 million people die annually due to air pollution. The new findings place the figure much higher than previous studies, and some experts believe that the impact might even be worse than that presented by the latest report. + Environmental Research Via The Guardian and CNN Image via Juniper Photon

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Air pollution caused by fossil fuels kills millions

Earth911 Reader: The Biden Era Arrives With Dramatic Climate Action

January 23, 2021 by  
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The Earth911 Reader collects and comments on useful news about … The post Earth911 Reader: The Biden Era Arrives With Dramatic Climate Action appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: The Biden Era Arrives With Dramatic Climate Action

Earth911 Podcast: Dr. Eyal Harel on the Increasing Frequency of Toxic Algal Blooms

January 8, 2021 by  
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Listen to “Earth911 Podcast: Eyal Harel on the Increasing Frequency … The post Earth911 Podcast: Dr. Eyal Harel on the Increasing Frequency of Toxic Algal Blooms appeared first on Earth 911.

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Raphael Warnock could prioritize environmental justice in Senate

January 4, 2021 by  
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The January 5 Senate runoff in Georgia pits two very different candidates against each other. There’s incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler, a pro-Trump business executive. Then there’s Raphael Warnock, a Democrat and senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, which has been part of a growing trend of Black churches pushing for environmental justice. Loeffler has warned that Warnock will turn the U.S. into a socialist country, as reported by Financial Times . Warnock said in a statement that it’s past time to fix “environmental wrongs and provide communities on the frontlines of our climate crisis a voice and a means to fight back against the pollution that threatens their children and families.” In order to achieve “true justice for Black and Brown communities in Georgia and across the country,” he said in the statement, people must address “historic shortcomings by placing equity and justice at the center of federal climate and environmental policy.” He indicated that he planned to do this work in the Senate. Related: How to support environmental justice Ebenezer Baptist Church is one of the most famous churches in the country, because Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor there. The church was known as a leader in the civil rights movement and has been getting more involved in environmental activism since the early 2000s, when the church’s singles program was transformed into an environmental ministry. Instead of the usual singles activities, participants upgraded the church’s energy efficiency and started community gardens. “We were trying to care for God’s creation,” said Garry Harris, an Atlanta engineer and sustainability entrepreneur who led the singles ministry for more than 10 years. Warnock has been senior pastor at Ebenezer since 2005. In 2019, he hosted an interfaith meeting at Ebenezer to address climate change. Al Gore and Reverend William Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, also participated. Environmental justice has been coming to the forefront as more people have become increasingly aware of the preponderance of polluting industries in low-income neighborhoods. Black churches often frame climate issues as public health, as congregants may live close to chemical plants, oil refineries or toxic waste dumps. If Warnock wins the runoff, he will have the power to speak up for these communities. Via Inside Climate News Image via Wikimedia Commons

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HSBC invests in world’s first ‘reef credit’ system

December 7, 2020 by  
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HSBC invests in world’s first ‘reef credit’ system Jesse Klein Mon, 12/07/2020 – 01:45 Traditionally, offset markets have been focused on credits for atmospheric carbon sequestration or restoration projects. But there are many other ways industrial and agricultural operations harm the planet. Australian-based environmental project developer GreenCollar decided to tackle one problem by creating a new type of credit to address an environmental issue very close to its country’s heart: the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef. Behind climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is poor water quality. Agricultural runoff from The Great Barrier Reef Catchments, a rural area covering 163,700 square miles of coastal Queensland that drains directly onto the reef, causes high levels of nitrogen and sediment to seep into the ocean and damage the reef ecosystem.  GreenCollar’s new system creates a marketplace for “reef credits” aimed at mitigating those practices. Similar to carbon credits, these reef credits are sold by farmers or project developers to organizations and companies looking to offset their environmental footprints. Those sales help fund improved land management practices. But instead of removing or avoiding carbon in the atmosphere, reef credits go toward helping improve water quality in this very specific area to protect the reef.  One reef credit in the GreenCollar system is equivalent to one kilogram of nitrogen, or 538 kilograms of sediment avoided from the ocean. Unlike carbon credits, which are focused on helping companies or individuals make removal claims, reef credits are about the abatement of pollution at the edge of the system. There is no scheme for removing nitrogen currently in the water system. Behind climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is poor water quality. GreenCollar said it worked with farmers and verification auditors, including the Reef Credit Secretariat and EcoMarkets Australia , as well as the Queensland government and private sector buyers. including financial services giant HSBC, to develop, authorize and sell these new credits. “It was really important that the farmers were part of building the process itself,” said Carole Sweatman, general manager of water quality at GreenCollar. “No point in building this beautifully shiny architecture if you roll it out on the ground and find out people just can’t use it or it just doesn’t make sense to them.” The thousands of farmers in the Great Barrier Reef Catchments use fertilizer to grow sugar cane, bananas, avocados, mangos and tomatoes. But the high degree of rainfall in the area produces intense agricultural runoff into the ocean near the reef. Selling the reef credits funds investments in more efficient fertilizer practices such as matching the application to the needs of specific crops and removing compact soil to decrease excess runoff, according to GreenCollar. “Sometimes that means restructuring your whole farm,” Sweatman said. “Buying new equipment, installing GPS. Those kinds of things can add considerable costs.” In the grazing and ranching areas near the wetlands, erosion and gullies have allowed nitrogen and sediment to bypass the wetlands drainage system and enter directly into the sea. The revenue from the reef credits will help repair the landscape, manage drainage systems and combat cattle overgrazing to protect these areas, GreenCollar said.  GreenCollar created the credit architecture, including a standard set of rules for the credits and three approved methodologies vetted by the audit firms. To ensure the standard meets goals for additionality, ensuring that the credits lead to pollution mitigation that would not have happened without the money from selling the credits; and leakage, the unintended consequences that could lead to higher pollution by shifting demand from a protected area to an unprotected area, GreenCollar said it worked with third parties to create the verification system. The goal is to create a system that makes a real and significant impact on the reef while creating a marketplace for corporations, farmers and environmental achievements to intersect. I think people were skeptical that we’d actually bring corporates in. Any of those pessimistic views we’ve been able to dispel quite quickly. “The auditors themselves draw up the framework that they utilize to undertake the audit,” Sweatman said. “We’ve shared our own technical work, but they have to create their own templates and run that [verification] process.”  For example, leakage is a big concern for GreenCollar. While a farmer is making improvements in some areas on the land, it is possible for reverse outcomes to occur on the rest of the property. According to Sweatman, GreenCollar requires farmers to record information across the entire property so auditors know what is happening all over the farm. GreenCollar is working with 50 farmers and hopes to increase that to 180 over the next three years This is the first credit system created specifically to protect a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and understanding how farming practices can affect the health of the reef isn’t always straightforward, according to GreenCollar. “People are used to forest-type credits,” Sweatman said. “You can go out and count trees or use aerial photography to really understand what the potential is in a landscape and then just go and physically count things. In the nitrogen space, it’s not countable in that sense.” Similar to the marketplaces that support soil carbon credits, the GreenCollar reef credits rely on farmers sharing the personal records of practices on their properties, including how much fertilizer they apply and the systems they use to calculate that fertilizer amount.   GreenCollar also is faced with educating buyers about this new concept, not a simple feat when you consider that the traditional carbon credit market is already extremely confusing to potential buyers.  “I think people were skeptical that we’d actually bring corporates in,” Sweatman said. “Any of those pessimistic views we’ve been able to dispel quite quickly.” The first corporation GreenCollar brought in as a buyer was HSBC. The financial services firm recently completed the purchase of the first tranche of reef credits and plans to continue buying them as part of its net-zero commitment. HSBC is targeting net-zero in operations and supply chain by 2030; it also seeks to align its portfolio of investments with the Paris Agreement goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. According to Greencollar and investment of $4 billion Australian is required to meet water quality targets for the Great Barrier Reef. “These nature-based solutions are going to become increasingly important,” said Hamish Kelly, managing director of global banking, Australia at HSBC. “We feel that these sorts of schemes are very clear demonstrations that nature-based solutions can support communities, and also facilitate the transition to net-zero carbon. And for us in Australia, what’s more, iconic than the Great Barrier Reef.” HSBC’s climate commitments include investing at least $750 billion in sustainable financing over the next 10 years. HSBC paid $36.40 per credit, and GreenCollar estimates that the market for reef credits could be worth over 6 million credits by 2030.  Pull Quote Behind climate change, the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is poor water quality. I think people were skeptical that we’d actually bring corporates in. Any of those pessimistic views we’ve been able to dispel quite quickly. Topics Pollution Prevention Regenerative Agriculture Water Conservation Farmers Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off A new reef credit marketplace hopes to save the Great Barrier Reef with corporate and government investment.// Courtesy of GreenCollar.

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There are no ‘silver bullet’ solutions to plastics

December 7, 2020 by  
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There are no ‘silver bullet’ solutions to plastics Lauren Phipps Mon, 12/07/2020 – 01:30 Every so often, a corporate announcement gets under my skin. (I’m guessing, dear reader, this sort of thing never happens to you.) The latest culprit: Bacardi unveiled a bioplastic bottle that can biodegrade in compost systems, freshwater and oceans in 18 months. Bacardi is calling its initiative “a silver bullet in the fight against plastic pollution.” Respectfully, I’m calling it B.S.  First and foremost, context is queen. With limited global composting infrastructure, the likelihood that a theoretically biodegradable bottle will be composted in practice is low. Next, layer in the reality that industrial composters don’t actually want bioplastics contaminating their organics streams (unless they can increase the nutrient-rich food waste entering into the facility). Now, add into the mix that compostable bioplastics often look identical to recyclable bioplastics (not to mention their resemblance to recyclable and non-recyclable, petroleum-based plastics), compounding consumer confusion and leading to more bottles in the wrong bins.  For these reasons, and many others , bioplastics can often create more problems than solutions.  Don’t get me wrong: Perfection can’t be the enemy of the good. (It’s also worth noting that plastic makes up less than 1 percent of Bacardi’s packaging.) But we’re left with the unfortunate acknowledgment that Bacardi is designing bottles to end up in waterways and oceans rather than investing in infrastructure to prevent marine plastics in the first place. If companies such as Bacardi indeed want to work towards more sustainable and circular systems, it’s incumbent upon them to invest in materials innovations, along with the enabling infrastructure for them to succeed.  What irked me most about the Bacardi story is that there are, of course, no silver bullets. Even writing that sentence makes me cringe at its cliché, as I’m sure anyone working in sustainability or circularity would agree. Plastic pollution is a complex, systemic challenge that is produced and reproduced by disconnected design decisions, short-sighted business models, insufficient infrastructure, patchwork policy and misinformed consumer behavior, to name a few of the culprits.  In my opinion, the material itself is not the crux of the problem — nor can it be the “silver bullet” of the solution. Complex problems require a suite of diverse solutions — silver buckshot, as the cliché goes.  Topics Circular Economy Plastic Plastic Waste Biomaterials Featured Column In the Loop Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Bacardi’s 100 percent biodegradable bottle will replace 80 million plastic bottles – 3,000 tons of plastic – currently produced by the company across its portfolio of brands every year. Courtesy of Bacardi Close Authorship

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There are no ‘silver bullet’ solutions to plastics

How do you avoid getting distracted and stay focused on the mission?

December 7, 2020 by  
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How do you avoid getting distracted and stay focused on the mission? Trisa Thompson Mon, 12/07/2020 – 00:10 Much has been said, and will be said, about 2020. The word “unprecedented” has been used an unprecedented number of times. We are constantly bombarded by the media, whether it be about politics, COVID-19 or the state of the economy. The media barely lets an hour pass without reporting another late-breaking story. And most of us barely let an hour pass without checking for the next dramatic update. Given the general sense of chaos surrounding all of us, Sustainability Veterans members discussed how we stay centered and focused on the mission while not ignoring the news. We wanted to share our points of view to help you stay focused on accomplishing your own mission. As always, our views are both different from and complementary to one another. We range from the hopeful to the practical. We hope you find some pearls of wisdom here. Practice radical curiosity: I try to stay focused on the big picture. These turbulent and perilous times demand that we practice radical curiosity, seeking to understand both the positions and the underlying interests of those who oppose climate action and regeneration. Some, perhaps many, may join with us if we can empathetically address their losses and fears. With their engagement, we together can learn how to rebuild our economy and democracy with greater equality, justice and health. — Bart Alexander is former chief corporate responsibility officer at Molson Coors. He consults on leading sustainable change through Alexander & Associates and climate change action through Plan C Advisors. Look 10 years ahead: My attention, like many, has been focused on the political and human health events of the day. I am typically an optimist and am using this time to backcast to see the world from 10 years in the future. I see a world focused on massive decarbonization, building not just sustainable, but regenerative businesses and dealing with tough issues like equity. How we all get there excites me and gives me clarity of purpose. — Mark Buckley is the former vice president of sustainability at Staples and founder of One Boat Collaborative. Keep your future grandchildren in mind: Like many sustainability professionals, I am an optimistic systems thinker with a long-term view. I keep my (hopefully) future grandchildren in mind. Since humanity’s well-being and a flourishing economy are both contingent on a healthy environment, I focus my energies on the environmental mission with the longest-lasting impacts, notably climate change and ocean plastification. Protecting the environment brings the most long-term benefit to the greatest number of people, regardless of country, race and/or political affiliation. — Jacqueline Drumheller led Alaska Airlines’ formal sustainability program as sustainability manager and is now consulting. Keep your head down and stay single-minded: When there is a lot of commotion, either externally or in the company, I exercise the simple mantra “heads down.” Rather than try to exist above the fray or even co-exist within it, I tend to be most effective in that place where I can single-mindedly focus on our sustainability goals. I have found that when the dust settles, I am often able to demonstrate some progress while others are just catching their breath. — Cecily Joseph is the former vice president of corporate responsibility at Symantec and serves as chair of the Net Impact board of directors and expert in residence at the Presidio Graduate School. Connect current events to issues: I found the best thing to do was to spend a little time studying what is going on in current events because often I could find connections back to our key issues. The interesting and challenging thing about sustainability is that it is so holistic that the ability to make the connections allowed me to continue to message that our sustainability work could not be pigeonholed into a small, side-bucket-like environment. — Dawn Rittenhouse was director of sustainable development for the DuPont Company from 1998 to 2019. Use events to strengthen the climate narrative: The issue for me is the climate crisis. Current events serve to highlight the fact that this is a crisis tied to everything — Black Lives Matter, COVID, public health, gender inequity, immigration, food security. Far from a distraction, these events help to build a stronger narrative, supported by robust data and models — that investments in a clean, equitable and regenerative economy and unity, not division, are the most powerful tools we have at our disposal. — Sarah Severn spent over two decades in senior sustainability roles at Nike, leading strategy, stakeholder engagement and championing systems thinking and collaborative change, and is principal of Severn Consulting. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves: Focus comes from a sense of empathy and urgency developed over the course of my career. A senior leader once asked why monitoring factory working conditions was so important. My response was that we ultimately speak for those unable to speak for themselves. Whether it’s factory workers, underrepresented communities or future generations of our families, change will only take place if we lead from the front with focus and intent. — Mark Spears retired from The Walt Disney Company after nearly 30 years, spanning a series of finance, strategic planning and sustainability roles. He serves as founder and chief strategist at common+value, a sustainability consultancy. Focus on the opportunities to make change: If we do this right, and I believe leaders will emerge who will, we have the rare opportunity to unite divided peoples, countries and continents to solve the world’s two biggest crises — COVID-19 and climate change. Together, we can do this, and I remain laser-focused on helping in any way that I can. We have no choice but lots of opportunity. — Trisa Thompson, a lawyer, is former chief responsibility officer at Dell Technologies. Stay focused on how you can contribute: We have no choice. Ignoring the myriad distractions is hard (and I often fail!), but we have the opportunity to solve multiple massive problems and improve people’s lives enormously in the process. Focusing on how I can contribute helps me avoid the distractions and gives me hope. — Bill Weihl was Google’s green energy czar, leading climate and clean energy work, then spent six years at Facebook as director of sustainability. In 2020, he founded ClimateVoice. Minimize social media time: In order for me to be my best self, I minimize my social media time and maximize my fresh-air time. I hunker down and focus on supporting myself, my family and my work. — Ellen Weinreb is a sustainability and ESG recruiter, founder of Weinreb Group and co-founder of Sustainability Veterans. Schedule it in: If something is captivating my attention, I first shamelessly ponder whether it can actually help feed the mission by providing evidence or anecdotes, exposing synergies or offering metaphors that aid in communication. Otherwise, I literally schedule a time slot to check it out, only after accomplishing my most important and mission-aligned goals for the day. If I’m distracted, so are others, and having some exposure helps me figure out how to dilute its allure. — Kathrin Winkler is former chief sustainability officer for EMC, co-founder of Sustainability Veterans and editor at large for GreenBiz. Understand and react: Rather than be distracted by current events, sustainability practitioners must understand and react to them (e.g., the emergence of the racial equality movement). Practitioners must also anticipate the next big issue. In a former role, we used an emerging issues process to evaluate the probability and magnitude of the impacts. While no one can predict the future, this process kept us one step ahead. Tim Mohin is the former CEO of GRI and former chief sustainability officer of AMD. About Sustainability Veterans: We are a group of professionals who have had leadership roles in the world of corporate sustainability. We are exploring new ways to further engage and make a difference by bringing together our collective intellectual, experiential, emotional and social capital — independent from any individual company — to help the next generation of sustainability leaders achieve success. Topics Leadership Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage, via Shutterstock

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How do you avoid getting distracted and stay focused on the mission?

Racial Equality Requires Environmental Justice

November 24, 2020 by  
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Environmental and social justice must evolve hand-in-hand. A focus on … The post Racial Equality Requires Environmental Justice appeared first on Earth 911.

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Racial Equality Requires Environmental Justice

1% of global population causes 50% of all carbon pollution emitted by the aviation industry

November 20, 2020 by  
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Recent research published in  Global Environmental Change  has revealed that only 1% of people cause half of all aviation pollution globally. According to the study, regular “super emitters” are polluting the environment at the expense of millions of people who do not fly.  The study, conducted through analysis of aviation data, revealed that large populations across all countries did not fly at all in the years observed. For instance, about 53% of Americans did not fly in 2018, yet the U.S. ranked as the leading aviation emission contributor globally. In Germany, 65% of people did not fly, in Taiwan 66%, and in the U.K. about 48% of the population did not fly abroad in the same period.  These findings suggest that the bulk of pollution caused by the aviation industry comes from the actions of very few people. Further supporting this point, the study revealed that only 11% of the global population flew in 2018, while only 4% flew abroad. Comparing these numbers to the level of emission aviation causes indicates that the rich few in society fuel this pollution the most. Meanwhile, marginalized communities will likely face the harshest consequences of this pollution . In 2018, airlines produced a billion tons of CO2. Even worse, the same airlines benefited from a $100 billion subsidy by not paying for the climate change caused. The U.S. tops the list of leading aviation emitter countries, contributing more CO2 to the environment than the next 10 countries on the list. This means that the U.S. alone contributes more aviation-based CO2 than the U.K., Germany, Japan and Australia combined.  Research also indicates that global aviation’s contribution to the climate crisis continues to increase. Before the coronavirus pandemic, emissions caused by flights had grown by 32% between 2013 and 2018. If there are no measures put in place to curb the pollution, these rates will likely continue skyrocketing post-pandemic.  Stefan Gössling of Linnaeus University in Sweden, the study’s lead author, says that the only way of dealing with the issue is by redesigning the aviation industry. “If you want to resolve climate change and we need to redesign [aviation], then we should start at the top, where a few ‘super emitters’ contribute massively to global warming ,” said Gössling. “The rich have had far too much freedom to design the planet according to their wishes. We should see the crisis as an opportunity to slim the air transport system.” + The Guardian Image via Pixabay

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1% of global population causes 50% of all carbon pollution emitted by the aviation industry

Renowned landscape architects unveil designs to save the Tidal Basin

November 20, 2020 by  
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The National Mall Tidal Basin — also known as “America’s front yard” — is home to some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. But the beloved Washington, D.C. public space is under threat from daily flooding and is in urgent need of critical repairs and improvements. In a bid to save the celebrated landscape, five prestigious landscape architecture firms — DLANDstudio, GGN, Hood Design Studio, James Corner Field Operations and Reed Hilderbrand — have been tapped to reimagine the future of the Tidal Basin and National Mall. Keep reading for a preview of all the designs. In 2019, the National Trust for Historic Preservation banded together with the Trust for the National Mall, the National Parks Service, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and American Express to launch the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab , an initiative seeking proposals to save the 107-acre Tidal Basin site in Washington, D.C. After months of preparation, the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab recently unveiled visionary proposals from five award-winning landscape architecture firms including New York City-based DLANDstudio, Seattle-based GGN, Oakland-based Hood Design Studio, New York City-based James Corner Field Operations and Cambridge-based Reed Hilderbrand. Each proposal not only responds to the pressing issues plaguing the area’s infrastructure but also examines ways to heighten the visitor experience through improved environmental and cultural considerations. Due to the pandemic, the proposals are presented in an online-only, museum-quality exhibition co-curated by New York City curator of design Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins, an architectural historian and independent curator. The public is invited to learn about the Tidal Basin’s history, which was completed in 1887 as a major hydrological feat as well as the ongoing challenges and comprehensive proposals. The public will also be able to give feedback and offer ideas on saving the Tidal Basin. “As part of ‘America’s front yard’, the Tidal Basin is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and traditions in the nation’s capital,” said Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Yet current conditions do not do justice to a landscape of such significance. With this new digital exhibition, we are excited to share and engage the public with creative thinking from five of the best landscape architecture firms in the world. These ideas explore ways to sustain this cultural landscape and its richly layered meanings for generations to come. This isn’t preservation as usual: this is preservation as innovation.” Related: BIG unveils sweeping overhaul to Smithsonian Campus Master Plan True to its name, the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab will be focused on cultivating bold ideas and promoting dialogue between designers, stakeholders and the public rather than choosing a single winner as is typical in design competitions. The exhibition will supplement the National Park Service’s mandated environmental review of the Tidal Basin as well as master planning and detailed design, which have not yet been completed but are integral to securing funding for construction and implementation. All five creative concepts, revealed late last month, celebrate and raise awareness of the Tidal Basin’s long history and have reimagined the cultural landscape to better meet modern safety and accessibility needs while addressing critical infrastructure repairs and improvements. DLANDstudio’s proposal makes bold steps of introducing extensions to the landscape in both the Tidal Basin and the Potomac River to reorient circulation. A long land bridge would connect the Jefferson Memorial and the White House, while a new jetty to the west would branch off of the Lincoln Memorial to house the relocated memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. Flooding would be mitigated with sponge park wetlands , a reflective weir and a green security wall. GGN’s vision is an adaptive plan phased across three stages to conclude in 2090. The design uses ecological solutions to protect the landscape from forecasted sea level changes and also the potential adaptation and relocation of existing monuments. James Corner Field Operations has proposed three ideas for combating rising sea levels : Protect & Preserve, a scheme to keep the existing landscape intact with improved maintenance and engineering; Island Archipelago, in which flooding would be accepted as an inevitable reality and monuments would be elevated and treated as islands within the Tidal Basin; and Curate Entropy, another design where the site is allowed to flood and a careful balance is maintained between the Tidal Basin’s existing layout and the new landscape. Hood Design Studio focuses on reshaping the Tidal Basin with underrepresented narratives, from the stories of how wetlands were valued by Indigenous and enslaved peoples to promoting dialogue on rebuilding urban ecologies. Reed Hilderbrand’s design draws on the 1902 McMillan Plan, a comprehensive planning document that strongly influenced the urban planning and design of Washington, D.C., particularly with its proposal for a “Washington Commons,” a diverse and connected regional park system. The plan also encourages new interactions with the landscape with an uplands Cherry Walk, a Memorial Walk, a Marsh Walk and a new landform called Independence Rise that would accommodate rising water levels and connect back to the city with a pedestrian bridge. + Tidal Basin Ideas Lab Images via Tidal Basin Ideas Lab

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Renowned landscape architects unveil designs to save the Tidal Basin

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